The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Friday issued a show-cause notice to News One for airing “derogatory/demeaning remarks” about federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed “without any editorial check” in a programme.
On Thursday, News One aired a show, ‘G for Gharidah’, at 10:05pm in which anchorperson Gharidah Farooqi questioned the decision of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to award appreciation certificate to Murad Saeed as the top minister in his team for his outstanding performance.
Gharida asked the panelists on her show: “The Prime Minister seems satisfied with Murad Saeed. He is in the top position, what could be the reason?”
Analyst Mohsin Baig responded, “The reason [for Murad Saeed being at the top place] is written in Reham Khan’s book. I don’t really know about the projects.”
Senior journalist and analyst Iftikhar Ahmed said, “You took the name of the person on the top position,” Gharida interjected and said, “Murad Saeed Saab,” Ahmed continued, “Yes, everyone is aware of his [Murad Saeed’s] performance and the accusations against him.”
Journalist and analyst Tariq Mehmood said, “Two people are serious in this, one Imran Khan Sahib, second Murad Saeed Sahib. We shouldn’t be so serious about this. One conducted the ceremony, second came on the first place,” adding, “Some things are self-explanatory, Pemra will be keeping a close eye, don’t make us say all the things. A book has been mentioned.”
“He [Murad Saeed] is a very hardworking minister and very close to the prime minister. Once again he has proved through his performance and left everyone behind,” said Mehmood.
Senior defence analyst General (retired) Amjad Shoaib said, “I have not read the book that was being discussed. However, I will agree with Mohsin Baig’s analysis, which he just made.”
Twitterati started a debate with trends against the host of the show. Some questioned why was Gharidah Farooqi the subject of criticism as she had not said anything but just asked a question.
However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf official Twitter handle shared a clip of the show and wrote, “Extremely shameful on Ghareeda Farooqi’s part to lead a program with such derogatory language.”
Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) condemned “PEMRA for taking News One off-air on cable networks without following due process“.
Several political parties condemned News One being taken off-air.